I became interested in evaluating this little goodie after reading of it in a posting on The Duty Roster from Kasey Beltsz of ACCUSHOT Products. I e-mailed Kasey and just a four short days later had a care package at my home with a product sample, the installation instructions, and some product brochures. THAT'S FAST!
The Accushot monopod is offered as an alternative to conventional shooting sandbags, a sandsock, or beanie bag. While slightly slower to adjust than squeezing or releasing a sandbag for elevation, the Accushot monopod offers the advantage of not shifting if pressure is taken off or applied as with a sandbag.
After opening the ziplock packaging I carefully read the instructions and then began to look over actual product. First thing checked was the quality of finish; the exterior surfaces are smooth with no sharp edges, and all non-reflective matte which is a great start.
The tapered Actuator knob is made from Deltaflex, a soft 40 durometer chemical resistant synthetic. The major diameter is 1.380" and the smooth metal disc in the base can be placed directly on the support surface if necessary. The actuator knob fits the hand rather well when the off hand fist is grasped around it at a central palm location.
An optional cap with a small stud in the base is available for L-E use, but I found no need for it in my shooting needs and style.
The first step is to make certain that the sling swivel studs are securely fastened into place. I have J-B Weld epoxied the swivels studs into all of my Model 700 Police stocks so that was taken care of before it became a problem.
Installation involves unscrewing the threaded actuator rod from the housing (called a stock collar) to let it travel upwards revealing the Uncle Mike's locking type Super Swivel which is opened, placed in the sling stud, secured and then the collar is placed down on top of it.
Cranking down the "Sling Positioning thumb nut", a knurled 1/4" thick steel wheel is then run upwards against the stock collar securely locking it. Once the lock ring is against the collar it locks the base of the unit securely against the stock.
A thin injection molded neoprene rubber membrane is built into the stock collar to protect the stock finish.
For storage, or transportation, the "Sling Positioning thumb nut" is loosened and the actuator knob tipped forward towards the muzzle and locked into place.
If the Precision monopod is to be a permanent installation, the 3/32" plastic tipped set screw located at the rear of the stock collar heel base is then turned inwards to lock the thread shank/swivel base against the stock collar. The sling is then re-attached to the integral sling attachment point located at the rear of the Stock collar.
I mounted the AccuShot Monopod up to my Remington 700Police DM .300 Win. Mag. for an evaluation with a rifle that has a little bit of recoil. Multiple test fire series were conducted from both the prone and bench positions to see how well this new widget would hold up.
Accushot reccomends holding the actuator knob in the palm of the hand for shooting, and using a twist of the wrist to adjust for elevation or declination.
Twisting the actuator knob towards a right handed shooter raises the knob, and turning it away lowers the knob. I found that using the ring and middle fingers to make adjustments was quick, easy, and repeatable even with my limited co-ordination and digital dexterity.
The weak hand thumb and forefinger can be used to loosen the locking collar, make an adjustment, and then relock it, if its not tightened excessively. The knurling on the edge of the locking wheel has just enough "bite" to allow this without abrading the skin and the edges are slightly chamfered.
I also tried both a "High" hand (web of left hand around the stock collar) and "Low" hand (actuator knob in between thumb and forefinger) hold while shooting from the prone and bench positions.
My first concern was with recoil damage to the support hand; this was not a problem due to the well radiused edges of the collar. Physical fatigue from holding the actuator knob for long periods of time (1 hour) could be relieved by simply relaxing the grip. The textured surface did seem to adhere well with the skin yet release without any tacky feeling.
After firing a hundred rounds of 190 gr. .300 Win. Mag. at different times, and under differing weather conditions I could find no mechanical problems.
The Accushot Monopod is affixed the the butt of the rifle, will not shift, mildew, rot, or become lost in a dark recess of a gear bag. It is easy to install and use with minimal training time and provides a certain grip index for prone shooting.
The Monopod's design precludes it from completely folding up against the stock toe when an Eagle Shooters Stock Pack is wrapped around the stock.
Not a major dilemena for a hard case transport but it may be slightly tricky with a standard drag bag, or foldable shooting mat/ bag. The forward facing design could theoretically become entangled in undergrowth during a "Flopping Bass" type uncased rifle stalk. Obviously, a little care taken here could prevent the problem before it became a problem.
This could be alieviated by simply removing the SSP, or with the use of a smaller diameter but larger height "Positioning Thumb Nut". The thread pitch of the shaft is 5/16-24, an unusual diameter, but not beyond the hands of a enterprising tactical shooter to resolve.
While the use of a Uncle Mike's locking "Super Swivel" is a great idea the serrated edge of the locking knob slightly protrudes from the port side of the base and can create a sore spot in the web of the hand if grasped quite firmly. The same can be said of the small set screw at the rear if it is not locked down against the stud. Trivial points really.
At face value this product seems to be "just another widget" being marketed to the rapidly expanding Tactical Shooting community. (Rumour is some large Govermental agencies have taken a serious interest in this product in a refined-lightweight alloy version.)
But if one learns to use this product in the field, and practices with it, it will kind of grow on you, field adjustments becoming automatic, and might just add another tool to your bag of UKD tricks.